Article : Depression and AF in Women...

Depression and AF in Women: Don't Worry, Be Happy

Psychological distress was not linked to atrial fibrillation in the Women's Health Study.

Stress is frequently blamed for cardiac disease, and depression has been associated with sudden cardiac death (JW Cardiol Jun 10 2005). However, whether negative affect is linked to atrial fibrillation (AF) is not clear. The Women's Health Study included 39,876 women free of cardiovascular disease who were randomized to receive vitamin E, low-dose aspirin, both, or neither for primary prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Of these, 30,746 with adequate follow-up and complete Mental Health Inventory-5 data were included in the present analysis.

During a median follow-up of 125 months, 2089 (6.8%) women reported substantial psychological distress, and 771 (2.5%) had new-onset AF. Neither global psychological distress nor depression was associated with AF. A post-hoc analysis showed a significant decrease in AF risk in women who reported feeling happy some or most of the time.


Whang W et al. Global psychological distress and risk of atrial fibrillation among women: The Women's Health Study. J Am Heart Assoc 2012 Jun; 1:e001107.

Lampert R. Put on a happy face It's a lot better than coumadin. J Am Heart Assoc 2012 Jun; 1:e002444.